Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Camel's Hump

I looked at the weather forecast just before I left work last night. The rain had stopped about mid-afternoon, and although it was cloudy and breezy, weather radar showed no rain and no lightning in the area. So, I decided to take a chance on the weather and do my planned ascent of Camel's Hump, the peak depicted on the Vermont state quarter.

I left work a little bit early and I was at the trailhead by 5:00. There were no other cars in the parking lot. I like to do this hike as a loop, going up the Forest City Trail to the Long Trail and then come down on the Burrows Connector. This makes the trip about 10K, with just over 2400' of climbing. But, compared to my recent mountain hikes, this one is much more technical, so I decided to hike in rock climbing approach shoes. These shoes have very sticky rubber soles that grip wet rock better than any running shoe.

I left the car wearing tights, a long sleeve shirt and a rain jacket, and I had an insulating jacket tied around my waist. The first half of the ascent, to the Long Trail, was fairly uneventful, but I could hear the wind howling higher on the peak.

Once I hit the Long Trail, the terrain gets very rocky at places and my choice of footwear turned out to be a good idea. At some places, the rock was dry but other places were soaked. The approach shoes worked perfectly.

Because this is a very technical trail with lots of rock scrambling, I was going fairly slowly. I've done this round trip in 2:24 in good weather, but last night it took me 20 minutes more than that.

The last few hundred vertical feet to the summit are above treeline, on exposed rock, and the weather was wild. For this stretch, I wore the insulating jacket over my rain jacket. The temperature was no warmer than 40F, winds were gusting to at least 40MPH, it was drizzling, and the fog was so thick that I simply hiked from one white trail marker to the next. I had to carry my hat so it wouldn't get blown away. I didn't spend much time at the summit and I took no pictures; you couldn't see anything anyway.

The descent isn't a very exciting trail and I cruised back to the car, getting there about 7:45. Due to the cloud cover, it was feeling somewhat dark as I got to the car. I still had a long-ish drive on back roads to get home, and I didn't make it until 9:00. I was starving when I got home.

I had my last PT session for the hamstring this morning. The therapist asked how I was doing and I tried to explain that I think I'm at 90%, yet for most people, I'd be beyond that. I told her that I'd run 30 miles last Saturday and it felt OK, but not completely right. She did some ultrasound and massage, and then I was "discharged" from the rehab treatments. I only go back if I re-injure myself, which I certainly hope to avoid.

Tonight, I'm planning an easy 8 after work.

1 comment:

David Ray said...

Sounds like a nice hike. Congrats on graduation from PT!